Category: Evidence for Policy

To understand the impact of government policies we need a long-term evaluation culture 

Policymakers may have ballpark ways to figure out what is ‘going on out there’, but the sure-fire way to know whether a policy is achieving its intended outcomes, for whom, and to learn lessons, is to evaluate. Raj Patel examines the challenges of asse…

Navigating co-design and nudge: Evidence and expertise in practice

In a previous blogpost Colette Einfeld and Emma Blomkamp argued bringing together nudges and co-design in practice illuminated fundamental differences underlying these approaches. Reflecting on a project to improve healthy food choices in a hospital se…

Book Review: Horizon Work: At the Edge of Knowledge in an Age of Runaway Climate Change by Adriana Petryna

In Horizon Work: At the Edge of Knowledge in an Age of Runaway Climate Change, Adriana Petryna explores ‘horizoning’ as a conceptual device that sets up new ranges and circumstances for action in the face of climate crisis. Drawing on interviews with e…

Surveying the landscape of UK University policy engagement – What are we doing differently and why?

Universities have only relatively recently started to invest in professional services relating to research communication, the impact agenda and in so doing policy engagement. Drawing on a survey of policy engagement functions in UK higher education ins…

Autonomous nudges and Ai Choice Architects – Where does responsibility lie in computer mediated decision making?

AI and algorithms shape many aspects of our everyday life, from the familiar algorithms structuring our social media feeds, to those subtly transforming more complex fields, such as policymaking and commerce. Stuart Mills argues that as these choice ar…

Book Review: A Handbook for Wellbeing Policy-Making by Paul Frijters and Christian Krekel

In A Handbook for Wellbeing Policy-Making, Paul Frijters and Christian Krekel offer a new guide to wellbeing-driven public policy, focusing on the proposal to replace GDP with wellbeing as the key metric to assess societal progress. With the book compr…

Do Nudges Work? Debate over the effectiveness of ‘nudge’ provides a salutary lesson on the influence of social science

Two recent papers have again brought into question the value and effectiveness of ‘nudge’ based policy interventions. Tony Hockley argues that as much as these studies reveal about nudge policies, they say more about the complex way social and behaviou…

Book Review: Thinking Like a Climate: Governing a City in Times of Environmental Change by Hannah Knox

In Thinking Like a Climate: Governing a City in Times of Environmental Change, Hannah Knox offers a new ethnographic study of the local dynamics of climate change, focusing on the city of Manchester. This detailed analysis of local climate politics ill…